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U.S. Congratulates New Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Amid Russian Anger
December 18, 2018 04:49 GMT

The United States has congratulated Ukraine's new national Orthodox Church on its autonomy from Russia, a move that has incensed Moscow and further heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

In a statement on December 17, the U.S. State Department said it sent its congratulations to the new church's leader, Metropolitan Epifaniy, calling it "a historic moment for Ukraine."

"The United States maintains unwavering support for Ukraine and respects the freedom to worship unhindered by outside interference," State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement.

"The right to religious freedom extends to all Ukrainians, including those choosing to join -- or not to join -- the new Orthodox Church," he said.

For years, there have been three main rival Orthodox Churches in Ukraine, the largest being the Moscow Patriarchate, which is formally Ukrainian but answers to Moscow.

Ukrainian Orthodox leaders on December 15 agreed on the creation of a new national Orthodox Church and elected the 39-year-old Epifaniy to head it.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople-- the Istanbul-based institution that is often considered the spiritual headquarters for Orthodox Christianity-- is expected to hand over a formal decree granting independence -- known as a "tomos"-- on January 6.

Russia has accused the United States of encouraging the Constantinople Patriarchate of being behind the independence.

The Russian Orthodox Church, the largest and wealthiest of all Orthodox Churches worldwide, has severed relations in protest.

This is so stupid. I have never met a Ukrainian that goes to church or has read the bible or even knows the basic principles of Christianity, let alone follow them.

Will the little pictures of Jesus that taxi and bus drivers have on their dashes be more magical now or what?


David Rochlin:
I have met several Ukrainians who go to Church, some even appeared to be devout believers at least sometimes.  I can't say I have ever seen them reading the bible or thinking about it the way Americans do.  There is a lot of praying, I mean, it can be an all day thing for the devout.  Perhaps more commonly, one might visit the drive through, holy water, take out window, at the Monastery in Odessa.  On the Church steps or in Church, people can have a different, serious personality, like acting, in Church.  The head of the Russian Orthodox Church is a the Kremlin-based midget Crony.  The Russian Church can bless Russia and blame Ukraine.  Russian Orthodox Priests were involved in distributing weapons to the rebels, to saboteurs, to terrorists.  They also closed a lot of Ukrainian Orthodox Churches, taking them over and beating Ukrainian Orthodox Priests.


--- Quote from: kyivkpic on 09:26 18-Dec-2018 ---
This is so stupid. I have never met a Ukrainian that goes to church or has read the bible or even knows the basic principles of Christianity, let alone follow them.

--- End quote ---

Oh c'mon, KP. You are so wrong here. I just picked up my wife from church a few hours ago. My entire extended family are good Christians and regularly attend Ukrainian Orthodox (Kyiv Patriarch) services where possible.

The Transfiguration Cathedral in Odessa, our local and Ukrainian Orthodox Church owned, is always well attended.

Well my wife makes damn sure to visit every little monastery everywhere we go when in Ukie land.  I was raised in a Lutheran church, so all this hoky poky about having to pay the priest to bless the house, boat and car is a little bit foreign to me, but the boy can drink some vodka so I let it go.  Nothing suggestive like getting an empty envelope in the mail that says "Gift for Priest" either.

The church thing in Ukie land is very, very well financed by my observations.  I like that they have the peasant size candles all the way up to the oligarch big baller size candles.  Something for everyone I guess.

Never in my life have I seen such a sham as the folks selling religious paraphanelia and honey at the Caves in Kiev. All these supposed little monasteries selling their own special blend of magic honey.  Yeah right.  Willing to bet some of it is imported from South America.

And don't get me started on the holy water scam.  We went to Zarvanytsya one day this past Summer.  My wife filled some bottles from the "holy spring" and on the drive home asked if I wanted some.  I didn't feel that the water was safe to drink because people throw money in the thing for starters, but I concluded in telling her that if she had the faith and believed, that God would keep her from getting sick.  She never drank any, so I guess she is becoming an American!


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